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Sri Lanka stumble to whitewash
26 Jul 2007
By: Zac Ritchie

Bangladesh had only themselves to blame as poor fielding squandered any chance they had of winning the 3rd ODI against Sri Lanka. Five dropped catches and three run outs were missed by the usually sharp fielding outfit as Sri Lanka recovered well from being 61/4 and eventually reached a fair total of 196.

Overnight rain had reduced the contest to 40 overs a side and Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful won the toss and elected for Sri Lanka to bat on a slow looking pitch. His decision paid dividends as brilliant bowling left Sri Lanka reeling, Syed Rasel leading the charge, as both openers were back in the hut with cheap scores, with Jayasuriya being reprieved without scoring. Chamara Kapugedara was then handed two lives, on 0 and 5, but fortunately for Bangladesh he did not profit a great amount, eventually falling for 7.

Jehan Mubarak and Tillekeratne Dilshan were then left to glue together the Sri Lankan innings and they came together in a match winning stand of 78 that took the game away from Bangladesh. Both were given left-offs early in their innings and benefited greatly from the inept fielding as they pushed singles against the spinners and put away the bad balls. Mubarak went on to score a career high 72 while Dilshan fell on 39. Syed Rasel was accurate and was rewarded with figures of 1/18 while Abdur Razzaq picked up 3/47.

The Bangladesh innings was under pressure from the start as Javed Omar only lasted four balls before edging Maharoof to slip while Mushfiqur Rahim, promoted to #3, also didn?t trouble the scorers. The first 11 runs all came from wides and it was only wayward bowling from Fernando and Maharoof that kept Bangladesh in the hunt early on. Ashraful and Tamim Iqbal combined in a 42 run partnership before the captain was unlucky to be given out LBW to Kulasekara as the ball appeared to be missing leg stump.

The Sri Lankan bowlers made good use of the short ball and accounted for Saqibul Hasan and Aftab Ahmed in short time before debutant Mahmudullah showed some courage with the bat and started to restore hopes for Bangladesh supporters as him and Tamim added 60 runs before Tamim tried to slog Jayasuriya out of the park, eventually falling for a well made 54. It didn't take long to wrap up the tail as Jayasuriya picked up the next three wickets with his darty left-armers and eventually Bangladesh fell short to what could have been a chaseable total, had their fielding been of a higher standard.

Sri Lanka 196
Jehan Mubarak 72, Tillekeratne Dilshan 39
Abdur Razzaq 3/47, Mahmudullah 2/28

Bangladesh 157
Tamim Iqbal 54, Mahmudullah 36
Sanath Jayasuriya 4/14, Nuwan Kulasekara 2/17

Sri Lanka won by 39 runs

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Jehan Mubarak

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